January 14, 2023
Here are a few stats articles I wrote for today:
Who has scored all the touchdowns in the Packers-Lions series?
Before you read the rest of this blog, see if you can answer this trivia question: Which Green Bay Packers’ player has scored the most career touchdowns in games versus the Detroit Lions?
Answer in the text.
The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions on Sunday will face off for the 184th time (regular season games). The game will be played in Detroit. The Pack holds a 103-73-7 lead in the series that began in 1930 when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Portsmouth Spartans, 47-13.
The Lions won the last contest between the teams, 37-30 in Detroit, and have won three of the last five versus the Packers in Detroit.
In the 24 games between the two teams since 2010, Green Bay holds a 15-9 advantage.
In the 183 previous games, Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson has the most TDs scored in this series with 15. Here are the Detroit Lions players with the most career TDs in games versus the Packers:
7-Marvin Jones, Barry Sanders, Doak Walker
On the other side of the ball, the most career TDs versus the Lions by a Packers player is 11 by Hall of Fame fullback Jim Taylor.
Here are the Green Bay Packers players with the most career TDs in games versus the Lions:
8-Ahman Green, Don Hutson
7-Davante Adams, Carroll Dale, Aaron Jones, Max McGee
Does Houston’s 106 wins and Phillies 87 wins guarantee an Astros’ World Series parade?
This year’s World Series will feature the team with the most regular season wins (Houston-106) against the team that barely made the playoffs as the 6th and final seed in the National League bracket (Philadelphia) with 87 wins.
The Astros’ 106 wins and Phillies’ victories 87 is the second largest difference in regular season wins (19) for World Series opponents. The largest was in 1906 when the two teams from Chicago faced off in a Windy City World Series. The 116-win Cubs took on the 93-win White Sox for that ’06 title (more on that series in a minute).
Looking at the World Series history since 1901, there has been a total of 32 World Series where the regular season win discrepancy between the two opponents was 10 victories or more (this year’s matchup will be the 33rd with a 10-win difference).
The last time this happened was in 2019 when the 107-win Houston Astros faced the 93-win Washington Nationals. What makes that series even more interesting is that the 93-win Nationals won that series. It was the third time in baseball history that a team with 14 or more fewer regular season wins than its World Series foe won the World Series; it happened in 1954 when the 97-win New York Giants defeated the 111-win Cleveland Indians, and in the 1906 series when the 93-White Sox surprised the 116-win Cubs.
Of the 32 times in World Series history when the win-difference was 10 or more victories for the Fall Classic opponents, the team with the fewer regular season wins won the World Series that year 12 times (37.5% of the World Series). Since 2000, it has happened three times: in 2019 with the Nationals over the Astros, in 2006 when the 83-win Cardinals beat the 95-win Tigers, and in 2003 when the 91-win Marlins beat the 101-win Yankees.
Up until 1969, there was only the American League and National League. There were no divisions, so only the two teams that won the A.L. and N.L. faced off in the World Series. In the 15 World Series from 1901 to 1968, there were 15 times when one World Series team won 10 or more regular season games than their opponent. The team with 10 or more fewer wins won the World Series only three of those 15 times (20%).
From 1969 to 2021, more teams qualified for the post-season with additional divisions within each league and Wild Card opportunities. During that time (1969-2021) there were 17 times when the World Series featured a team that had 10 or fewer regular season wins than their World Series opponent. Of those 17 times, the team with 10+ fewer wins won the title nine times (53%).
What will happen this year when the second-largest win difference for World Series opponents is played out with the Astros and Phillies? The Astros enter the series undefeated in this year’s postseason, while it appears the Phils are playing with house money as they have beaten three National League teams that were seeded higher than them when the playoffs started.
If history has anything to say about this seemingly “mismatched” series, you never know what can happen. The Astros have already been on the wrong side of a mismatch World Series, and it happened just three years ago. If the Phillies need any more history on their side, all they must do is look at what happened in the 1906 World Series and the trend that has developed going back to 1969.
It should make for an interesting end to the 2022 baseball season.
Rodgers chases Brady, Brees in passing stat
In the Packers’ loss to the Washington Commanders, QB Aaron Rodgers attempted 35 passes, had a pair of TD passes to Aaron Jones, and did not have a pass intercepted. It was the 45th time in his career that he reached those numbers in an NFL regular season game.
Rodgers 45 games with 35+ pass attempts, two or more TD passes and no interceptions in a game rank third all-time behind Tom Brady and Drew Brees on the NFL list. Brady tops the list with 62 such games; Brees is second with 50.
It’s interest to note that in the two games this season that Rodgers reached those numbers, the Packers lost. The team is now 33-12 in games when Rodgers reaches these passing stats, a .733 winning percentage.
Here is a look at the NFL all-time Top 10 in this category… career games with 35+ passing attempts, two or more TD passes, and no interceptions.
Tom Brady, 62
Drew Brees, 50
Aaron Rodgers, 45
Peyton Manning, 33
Matt Ryan, 32
Brett Favre, 27
Ben Roethlisberger, 24
Matthew Stafford, 22
Philip Rivers, 21
Kirk Cousins, 21
Rodgers and Favre were not the only two Packers’ QBs to reach these stats in a game. Rodgers tops the Green Bay list with his 45 games followed by Favre with 25 during his time with the Pack. Also on the list are: Don Majkowski (two games) and Brett Hundley, Mike Tomczak, Randy Wright and Tobin Rote with one game each.
The current members of the NBA’s 20-7-3 Club
As the 2022-23 NBA tips-off this week, it’s interesting to note that there are 20 players who have averaged in their careers 20 or more points per game, seven or more rebounds per game, and three or more assists per game. Of these 20 players, eight are currently active in the league.
Here’s the alphabetical list of these 20 players to have career averages of 20+ pts, 7+ rebounds and 3+ assists per game (* indicates a member of the Hall of Fame):
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 24.6/11.2/3.6*
Giannis Antetokounmpo, 21.8/9.4/4.6
Charles Barkley, 22.1/11.7/3.9*
Elgin Baylor, 27.4/13.5/4.3*
Larry Bird, 24.3/10.0/6.3*
Wilt Chamberlain, 30.1/22.9/4.4*
Billy Cunningham, 20.8/10.1/4.0*
Luka Doncic, 26.4/8.5/8.0
Kevin Durant, 27.2/7.1/4.3
Joel Embiid, 26.0/11.4/3.3
LeBron James, 27.1/7.5/7.4
Marques Johnson, 20.1/7.0/3.6
Bob Lanier, 20.1/10.1/3.1*
Karl Malone, 25.0/10.1/3.6*
Bob Pettit, 26.4/16.2/3.0*
Oscar Robertson, 25.7/7.5/9.5*
Karl-Anthony Towns, 23.2/11.3/3.1
Chris Webber, 20.7/9.8/4.2*
Russell Westbrook, 22.8/7.4/8.4
Zion Williamson, 25.7/7.0/3.2
A closer look at these 20 reveals a couple of interesting facts:
- Eleven of the 20 who are no longer playing are in the Hall of Fame. Eight are currently active in the NBA. The only player on this list who is not playing and not in the Hall of Fame is Marques Johnson.
- Milwaukee Bucks fans will see that five different players on this list have spent time with the team: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marques Johnson, Bob Lanier, and Oscar Robertson.
- Giannis has averaged 21.8 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game, and 4.6 assists per game. Only one player in NBA history has better numbers than Antetokounmpo in each of these three stat categories: Larry Bird. He averaged 24.3 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game, and 6.3 assist per game.